Islington Survivors Network began in 2016 and set up in January 2017 as a non profit making company which now has 5 survivor/directors, a coordinator and a researcher. There were 49 children’s homes in Islington between the 60s and the 90s and ISN have now heard from over 160 survivors as well as former staff.
There are four main strands to the work of ISN
- Working with Islington Council in the development and delivery of support services for Islington Survivors of non recent child abuse
- Working with Islington Council towards a redress scheme for Islington Survivors of all forms of child abuse (sexual, physical, emotional and/or neglect) experienced in Islington children’s homes, foster placements and other placements such as secure units and boarding schools
- Working with police and local authorities in the investigation of alleged and known abusers and in bringing to justice those who abused children in Islington children’s homes and other placements. ISN also call to account those who were paid to protect but who facilitated the abuse – the enablers
- Acquiring, collating and publishing the history of the Islington child abuse scandal between the 1960’s and 1990’s to identify and analyse the role played by pro-paedophile groups and self professed networks of paedophiles in the abuse of Islington children
Until recently ISN was funded solely by voluntary donations mainly through GoFundMe website. Islington Council have now provided some funding to ISN to support the implementation of a redress scheme and to assist our work with them in the co-production of services for ISN survivors.
We would like to hear from you
If you are a victim of or were witness to physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect within an Islington Children’s Home, Foster Home, Adoptive Home, or if you were placed by Islington Council in a boarding school or secure unit or were abused within a network of abuse in Islington, we would like to hear from you.
You might be reading this because you are a survivor of child abuse within an Islington children’s home, or you may have witnessed a child being abused in one of the homes. You might be a friend, relative, parent of an abused child or a professional who worked within the care system. You might be someone who worked in a children’s home or neighbourhood office perhaps as a cook, cleaner, driver, residential care worker or administrator.
Contact us if you have something to add to the story of child abuse in Islington.
We know that organised, powerful, networks of child abusers operated across the country, including within Islington. It’s a big jigsaw we are piecing together and all details are important.
As part of ISN work towards the redress scheme we have been asked by the council to try and work out how many children were in Islington’s care system from the 60s to the 90s. We are calculating this from survivor and staff accounts as well as from file evidence.
If you did not witness abuse but have knowledge of Islington Social Services, then please help us collect information about the children’s homes, the children who were resident there and staff who worked in them. We are trying to put facts and dates together to help us make sense of what survivors tell us. Files and documents have gone missing, so what you remember is very important as a survivor or as a witness to abuse – even if your account goes back a good few years to the 50s or earlier.
Some careleavers speak of good experiences in Islington’s care and it is just as important that we hear about the positives as well as about the abuse. Sometimes things changed for the worst when a new manager came into post or a new member of staff joined the team. This is all helpful information for us.
Our priority is to assist Islington survivors to find healing and to achieve justice which might be through seeking redress from the council or through police action in prosecuting abusers. Our first step is usually to provide help to access the survivor’s childhood care file from Islington Council. We write a timeline on the basis of the file evidence and the survivor’s own account so that what happened is clear and in chronological order.
We also work to protect children now from harm and your evidence might help to do that if the alleged abuser is alive and still in contact with children.
We look forward to hearing from you – if you have any questions please contact us.
Whether you are a survivor or witness, writing about your experiences, or calling us, is not easy. ISN have developed support services with Islington Council. Survivors may contact these services directly or through ISN. ISN appreciate your feedback on these services. email: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemessage 0300 302 0930
ISN Support Services
ISN Trauma Service
The Trauma Service has been commissioned by the London Borough of Islington specifically to respond to the needs of survivors of child abuse in Islington children’s homes and other placements. This service is now established on a permanent basis and there are two psychologists available. Survivors refer themselves by making a phone call – without going through a GP or anyone else – unless of course they chose to. Sometimes ISN organise the appointments.
The service is very flexible and the psychologists are understanding of the impact of child abuse experienced in the care system. During an initial conversation with the psychologist, survivors think about how the Trauma Service can best help them individually. Any difficulties in accessing the service are discussed from the beginning.
The service has been planned together with ISN and survivors contributed to the interview process for the psychologists. ISN attend regular reviews of the service and have provided training.
Further information is provided on the Camden and Islington NHS Trust website for the Traumatic Stress Clinic
Address: 4th Floor, West Wing St Pancras Hospital, St Pancras Way London NW1 0PE United Kingdom
Phone: 0203 317 6820
Directions: St Pancras Hospital is within walking distance from King’s Cross St Pancras underground station (Metropolitan, Northern, Victoria, Hammersmith & City, Circle and Piccadilly line) and Mornington Crescent Underground Station (Northern Line – Charing Cross branch). The 214 and 46 buses also run from both stations to the main entrance of the site.
ISN survivor’s feedback
“They didn’t judge me. I thought they wouldn’t understand what I’d been through because they are young but they did because they listened.”
“They’ve given me help to manage my anxiety. I’ve had panic attacks
for 30 years and now I have tried what they suggested and it worked.”
“I’ve never done anything like this before but they understand why I’m angry.”
Islington Council: Survivors Support Services
The Islington Survivors Support Services are based at 222 Upper Street. A specific team has been set up for survivors of non-recent child abuse in Islington children’s homes and other placements. Information about this is on Islington Council’s website. The team consists of a full time senior manager, a support worker and an administrator. A social worker is due to be appointed soon.
The service provided includes a broad range of assistance such as with benefits issues, housing, tribunal hearings and also access to records. ISN have been involved from the beginning in the development of these services and regular reviews of the service provision are held with the council. The support team work hard to respond to each survivor’s individual needs.
Address: 222 Upper Street, N1 1XR
Phone: 0207 527 1848
Directions: Bus: 4, 19, 30, 43 Tube and train: Highbury and Islington station (three minutes walk). Road: The front entrance to the building is on Upper Street, with limited on-street parking available within 50m. Cycle: There are public cycle racks at the front of the building.
Access to Records
ISN assist survivors in accessing their childhood care records. The support services assist ISN in this process. Generally, survivors ask ISN to collect the file from the Support Service on their behalf and then make further arrangements direct with ISN.
National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC)
NAPAC (National Association for People Abused in Childhood) is a UK-wide charity which has a free support line (0808 801 0331) Visit site.